Timor Leste announces parliamentary election results

The visit takes place at a time when Cambodia has maintained stability and a rather high economic growth rate over recent years. The fourth parliamentary election was held successfully in July 2008 and highly acclaimed by the international community. Five out of 11 political parties won seats at the National Assembly. The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) won a landslide victory with 90 out of a total of 123 seats to form a new Government. At the first session of the National Assembly on September 25, 2008, lawmakers voted for the new Government led by CPP from 2008 to 2013. Relations of friendship and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Cambodia have developed strongly in recent times under the motto of “Good neighbourly relationship, traditional friendship and comprehensive and long-lasting cooperation”. The two countries have exchanged many high-ranking visits, including visits to Vietnam in March 2006 and June 2008 by King Norodom Sihamoni, and a visit to Cambodia in February 2007 by State President Nguyen Minh Triet. The two Prime Ministers also met with each other on the sidelines of the summit of the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) in March 2008. Vietnam and Cambodia convened the 4th meeting on cooperation and development of their border provinces in February 2008 and the 10th session of the Joint Commission for Economic, Cultural and Scientific-Technological Cooperation in October 2008. The two countries have enjoyed significant progress in economics, trade and investment cooperation over the past years. Two-way trade between Vietnam and Cambodia hit nearly US$1.2…... [read more]

But his effort is likely in vain as the parties hold differing views on Athens' current austerity measure. This means Greece may have to hold another election and crush out of the Eurozone, seriously impacting the European Union. Papoulias’s negotiations to set up a coalition government prove that Greece is in a serious crisis. His effort is the last resort to avoid an early election ahead of the one scheduled for June. Alexis Tsipras, President of the far-left party Syriza, one of the three parties with the most votes in the Parliamentary election a week ago, has refused to work with any parties that plan to implement measures demanded as part of the international financial bailout. Syriza wants Greece to withdraw from the agreement it had signed with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in 2010. In two years of the austerity, Greece’s economy has seen no growth and has even fallen back further. Its economy is projected to drop an additional 6 percent this year and remain flat next year. Greece only has enough money to pay salaries and pensions until June. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate reached 21.7 percent in February. It is obvious that Greece will have to hold a new election. But even another election may fail to resolve the current political deadlock. The latest poll suggests that in the next election, Syriza could win nearly 24 percent of the vote, followed by the central-right New Democracy Party with 17.4 percent and the Socialist PASOK…... [read more]

These developments have triggered a new confrontation between newly elected President Mohamed Morsy and the Egyptian army, which holds the political power. Egypt’s political arena is rife with power struggles following its historic presidential election. Public opinion has been divided since President Morsy ordered the dissolved parliament to resume its legislative work on July 8. While the Egyptian Supreme Court and the army insist that all decisions made by the court be respected, President Morsy holds that his order for parliament to resume is entirely constitutional. As a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Morsy was certain to clash with Egypt’s powerful army generals. On July 10, Egypt’s Supreme Court suspended Morsy’s Decree and declared that the court’s ruling that the parliamentary elections held seven months ago were unconstitutional and the parliament must be dissolved, must be enforced. Earlier, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which handed over power to the Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsy last month, held an emergency meeting to discuss the President’s Decree. The meeting was chaired by Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, head of the SCAF, which has run the country since former President Hosni Mubarak was toppled last year. It pondered the impact of Morsy’s decision to reconvene Parliament. Amid these complicated developments, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on all parties to hold dialogues to resolve the crisis. Under the Decree issued on July 8 by President Morsy, the parliament would resume its legislative activities until a new parliament is elected.…... [read more]

When the mandate of the NATO troops ends in 2014, the worry will redouble if bomb attacks by Taliban and Al-Qaeda terrorists continue. The International Crisis Group (ICG) released a report on October 8 warning that the departure of NATO forces in 2014 could be followed by the government's collapse and civil war. One day earlier, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace also warned pessimistically that the Taliban might regain power in Afghanistan then. Two Afghan intelligence officials were killed on October 8 and seven others were wounded by a car bomb in the southern province of Helmand. Before that a suicide bomb targeting a joint NATO and Afghanistan patrol car claimed the lives of 13 people including three NATO soldiers, four Afghanis, and six civilians and injuring 40 others. To date, a total of 2,000 US troops have been killed by bombing attacks on coalition forces. Both US and coalition troops have also been attacked by members of the Afghan security forces, including the army and police. The ISAF had to temporarily suspend the training program for Afghani recruits following a series of attacks conducted by Afghani soldiers and policemen. But the death toll of the coalition troops can’t compare with the losses the local people have had to bear. UN statistics indicate that from 2007 to the end of August this year, more than 13,400 Afghan civilians have died in the war. In fact, the civilian death toll has exceeded 20,000 since US troops first arrived in 2001.…... [read more]

Sam Rainsy, the runner-up of the recent Cambodian parliamentary election, stated in an interview with several international media agencies that Hanoi transgressed Cambodia’s territory. His statement is groundless because Vietnam and Cambodia have a time-honoured friendship and good neighbourly relationship, which has been nurtured and consolidated by generations of Vietnamese and Cambodians. The past struggle for national independence and freedom has bound the two countries in their common effort for peace, stability, cooperation and development. The Vietnamese people have stood shoulder to shoulder with Cambodians in various periods of historical upheavals, especially helping them get rid of the Pol Pot Khmer Rouge genocidal regime and develop their economy. The Vietnamese Party and State attach great importance to developing and consolidating the friendship and comprehensive cooperation with Cambodia. Bilateral cooperative ties have developed steadily in all areas over recent years. Both countries worked closely together in border demarcation and marker planting toward building a shared border line of peace, stability, cooperation, and development. Vietnam is happy with the successful parliamentary election on July 28, and hopes that Cambodia will soon be able to establish a new parliament and government for its own stability and development, contributing to regional peace and solidarity. It is clear to all and sundry that Sam Rainsy’s groundless statement causes harm to not only Vietnam-Cambodia relations but also the close bond formed by the blood and tears of both peoples. Sam Rainsy even made misleading information about territorial sovereignty concerning recent sea disputes in the region. BBC…... [read more]

Cameron, who was re-elected with a surprise outright majority last week, said he would ensure that further powers would be granted to Scotland according to an existing plan. But he dismissed the idea that Scots might get another independence referendum anytime soon. "We had a referendum. Scotland voted emphatically to stay in the United Kingdom," Cameron told Channel 4 News. "There isn't going to be another referendum," he said, saying the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP), which won 56 of 59 parliamentary seats in Scotland last week, had made clear that election was not about securing another vote. Scots rejected independence in September 2014 by 55-45 percent after a lengthy and divisive campaign. Some nationalists said afterwards that the question had been decided for "a generation." But the startling success of the SNP, which all but wiped out the Labour Party in Scotland last week, has renewed speculation it might push for another referendum, perhaps in the run-up to a Scottish parliamentary election next year.... [read more]

Vassiliki Thanou, an opponent of austerity who has argued against wage cuts for judges and court officials, and her new interim government will remain in place at least until parliamentary elections are held, expected to be on Sept. 20. "I'm especially happy because I'm receiving the first woman prime minister in the history of the Greek democracy, and this is an important step," Tsipras told Thanou at a handover ceremony at the prime ministerial mansion. Her appointment ends a week of fruitless negotiations as top opposition party leaders took turns at trying to form a government, exercising a constitutional right that takes effect if a prime minister resigns within a year of being elected.... [read more]

Maduro's socialist government has closed several major border crossings in recent weeks and deported more than 1,500 Colombians as part of what authorities have called a crackdown on contraband and crime. More than 16,000 Colombians have fled Venezuela since the crackdown began, according to the United Nations. Many have said they were beaten before wading rivers and crossing bridges with their belongings on their backs, sparking an international outcry and condemnation from Bogota. The center-right Santos and Maduro, who frequently accuses Colombian rightists of seeking to topple him, have not met since the border dispute began. "We achieved it ... The meeting will be next Monday in Quito," Maduro announced at an event marking the resumption of Venezuela's school year. "I'm ready. I have my pencil to sign a peace deal," he said. Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin confirmed the meeting and said the presidents of Ecuador and Uruguay would also attend. Maduro has said the border closures are aimed at protecting the OPEC country from criminals who smuggle subsidized goods, ranging from gasoline to flour, into Colombia. His political opponents have accused him of using Colombians as scapegoats to distract from Venezuela's economic crisis, while also seeking to whip up nationalist sentiment ahead of December parliamentary elections.... [read more]

Polling stations visited by Reuters correspondents pointed to a turnout of around 10%, in sharp contrast to the long lines that formed in the 2012 election, suggesting that Sisi, who has enjoyed cult-like adulation, is losing popularity. Elderly supporters of Sisi comprised a large proportion of those turning out to vote, while younger Egyptians boycotted an election for a chamber they say will just rubber-stamp the president's decisions. The government declared a half-day holiday on October 19 for state workers, apparently hoping to encourage more voting. Egypt has had no parliament since June 2012 when a court dissolved the democratically-elected main chamber, then dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, reversing a key accomplishment of the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak. In 2013 Sisi, then army chief, overthrew Egypt's first freely-elected president in 2013, the Brotherhood's Mohamed Mursi, then launched the fiercest crackdown on dissent in Egypt's modern history. Human rights groups say Egypt has about 40,000 political prisoners, many of them supporters of Mursi. Sisi secured support from other opposition groups for ousting Mursi by promising a prompt parliamentary vote. The elections, repeatedly postponed, are now taking place over two rounds on Oct 18-19 and Nov 22-23. This week, voters cast their ballots in 14 regions including Egypt's second city of Alexandria on the Mediterranean coast. The unicameral parliament will comprise 568 elected members - 448 elected on an individual basis and 120 through winner-takes-all lists in four districts, with quotas for women, Christians and youth. The president may also…... [read more]

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is struggling to shore up support for his center-right People's Party (PP) after a four-year term marked by a crushing economic crisis, unpopular austerity measures and unemployment of more than 20%. Hard times and disgust with corruption in high places have fueled the rise of new parties - the liberal, reformist Ciudadanos (Citizens) and the left-wing, anti-austerity Podemos (We can) - breaking the mold of a political system long dominated by the PP and the Socialists. The PP came out on top in the latest survey published on December 3 by the Sociological Research Centre (CIS), polling 28.6%, slightly down from 29.1% in the last CIS poll at the start of October. The PP would win up to 128 seats in the 350-seat Spanish parliament if the election were held on December 4, the survey showed, well short of the 176 seats needed for a majority and of the 186 seats it won in the 2011 parliamentary election. Ciudadanos, led by Albert Rivera, a charismatic 36-year-old from Catalonia, is seen winning 19% of the vote, the survey showed, up from 14.7% in the last poll. This would give the new party up to 66 seats in parliament, potentially casting it as kingmaker and vying with the Socialists to be Spain's second political force. However, one in three voters surveyed by CIS either refused to give their preference, were undecided or planned to abstain. That, together with the transformation of Spain's political landscape, make predicting the election…... [read more]

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